Consistently implementing the vision enshrined in the strategy to become an advanced and sustainable European higher education institution, Kauno kolegija took a significant step – on 28th June the application of European University Alliance UNINOVIS Data for L.I.F.E. was approved

This achievement is a significant contribution to strengthening the Kauno kolegija Higher Education Institution’s (HEI) position on the global stage, conducting joint study programmes, and opening up wider opportunities both for lecturers and students to carry out international activities. It is equally important that belonging to this alliance is a significant achievement in strengthening the scientific potential and achieving the status of a university of applied sciences.

An important achievement for the Kauno kolegija HEI and the whole sector

Dr Andrius Brusokas

According to Kauno kolegija HEI Director Dr Andrius Brusokas, the approval of the UNINOVIS alliance application is an evaluation of several years of purposeful work in forming a sustainable academic, applied data science-based network, in which all alliance partners were involved.

‘This achievement of Kauno kolegija HEI is extremely significant and important both for our institution and the entire Lithuanian higher education sector. At the same time, it is the recognition of Kauno kolegija HEI as a sustainable institution of higher education in the international arena. Now we have even wider opportunities to strengthen the quality of studies and develop applied science and art at the international level. I am very happy with this achievement of Kauno kolegija HEI and the work put in by the entire team over several years. I congratulate my colleagues who trusted these partners a few years ago and purposefully pursued a common goal,’ shares Dr A. Brusokas.

In the Kauno kolegija HEI 2021–2025 strategy the vision of becoming an advanced and sustainable European higher education institution has been established. The Director of Kauno kolegija HEI says he is glad that this vision was purposefully followed, together with partners in creating and forming the UNINOVIS alliance.

‘It is clear that the approval of the application of this alliance contributes significantly to the implementation of Kauno kolegija HEI’s vision and related strategic goals, fostering academic and scientific culture, developing studies and science in an international environment,’ says the Director of Kauno kolegija HEI.

He emphasises that when preparing the new strategy of the institution, membership in the alliance will undoubtedly play a very important role: ‘As an example, I can mention joint project activities in certain specific areas, where our partners already have many years of experience in various regions of the world.’

The Director of the Kauno kolegija HEI Dr A. Brusokas also adds that in the near future in Lithuania, it is important to form a clear concept of applied scientific research and to widely communicate about the significance and importance of this research in the labour market.

Consistent work was a key to success

Dr Inga Stravinskienė

Vice Director for Organisational Development Dr Inga Stravinskienė reveals that the application of the UNINOVIS alliance was evaluated by the experts of the European Commission as extremely high-quality and scored as many as 94 points out of 100. Such an evaluation, according to her, shows the alliance’s partners’ strong cooperative relations and targeted outcomes in the international space.

‘It is important to note that the latest achievement is not accidental and is based solely on the orientation to the goals set in this application. This network of partners was forming practically for three years: joint international projects were prepared and won, students’ and lecturers’ exchanges, joint scientific applied research, adaptation of good experiences and other mutual initiatives took place. We created a lot, we believed in what we were creating, and finally, this significant assessment!’ shares Dr I. Stravinskienė says she is glad that extremely warm, trust-based cooperative relations have been established between the partners.

The alliance is formed from applied sciences and classical (academic) universities, bringing together a particularly large community of 125,000 students, 11,000 employees, 57 associates, and social partners.

She reminds that in four years Kauno kolegija HEI will apply for the status of a university of applied sciences, and membership in the UNINOVIS alliance will significantly contribute to the pursuit of this status.

‘The long-term strategy of this alliance integrates studies and applied data science, focusing on research and innovation. All the activities provided for in this project will significantly contribute to the pursuit of the status of Kauno kolegija HEI as a university of applied sciences, based on the values ​​and requirements of the European Higher Education Area and the European Research Area, sustainability goals, green and digital transformation,’ says Vice Director for Organisational Development Dr I. Stravinskienė.

International cooperation will become even more active

Jolanta Valiaugienė

According to Jolanta Valiaugienė, the International Partnership Development Coordinator of Kauno kolegija HEI, the partnership with the members of the alliance, which has been established over several years, should now become even more active, focusing on the implementation of the goals of the UNINOVIS alliance, which ensure the wider use of data science in all academic fields.

She also emphasises that the approval of the alliance application means a greater responsibility not only for the implementation of the goals and tasks provided for in the application but also for the long-term agreement of the partners to cooperate in order to become a European university.

‘Now that the UNINOVIS alliance application has been approved, it can affect every department or employee of the Kauno kolegija HEI through joint activities with alliance partners. This alliance is unique due to the large number of associated partners, including regional government organisations, business associated structures, companies, student self-government organisations, and higher education institutions in other regions of the world,’ shares J. Valiaugienė.

She also notes that the participation of Kauno kolegija HEI in the alliance activities is also supported by its social partners, such as the Kaunas Regional Development Council, Alytus Regional Development Council, Jonava District Municipality, Kaunas Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts, Axioma Metering, Kauno Grūdai, DigiTech Sector Association INFOBALT, Digital Innovation Hub AgriFood Lithuania, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport.

‘This increases the role of Kauno kolegija HEI as an open and responsible institution of higher education in regional development through cooperation, contributing to the development of innovative and sustainable products, services and technological process innovations,’ adds J. Valiaugienė.

Partner of European universities

Lina Kuraitienė

The agreement of the leaders of higher education institutions belonging to the alliance to cooperate in mobilising academic, scientific, human and infrastructure resources significantly strengthens the capabilities of all alliance members by enriching academic programmes, expanding research opportunities and creating conditions for new student experiences. Meanwhile, joint activities will have a positive impact on the professional development of employees.

‘For Kauno kolegija HEI to achieve the status of a university of applied sciences, the expanded and established cooperation opportunities in scientific research, combining the resources and expertise of all partners, are particularly relevant. After winning the European Universities Initiative project, greater opportunities for research funding have emerged, i.e. greater opportunities to receive European research funding and grants for the activities of the alliance,’ says J. Valiaugienė.

Lina Kuraitienė, Head of the Project Management Unit of Kauno kolegija HEI, notes that in implementing the paradigm of lifelong learning, together with partners, studies and training services focused on the needs of the learner will be developed.

She also points out that higher education institutions participating in the UNINOVIS alliance have agreed to implement innovative teaching methods, to develop common study programmes, the implementation of which will give Kauno kolegija HEI students the opportunity to study at several institutions and receive joint diplomas from these higher education institutions. Also, the pooling of resources will expand the range of courses offered through the provision of micro-credentials.

‘During the project, it is planned to create study hubs to which students of higher education institutions participating in the UNINOVIS alliance will be able to come physically, acquire certain competencies, and after returning to their country, they will be able to continue studying remotely. This will make it easier to carry out exchanges and ensure that students will acquire knowledge at the higher education institution that is the strongest in their chosen field,’ adds L. Kuraitienė.

UNINOVIS aims to become a source of advanced data science competencies and skills for both current and future generations, promoting a sustainable and inclusive European society. The goal of the alliance is to create an international and interdisciplinary European university from seven higher education institutions with common management, teaching, international relations and research structures. The alliance is focused on the wider use of data science in all academic fields.

UNINOVIS has four main missions: to provide Lifelong learning in data; to integrate innovation ecosystems for collaborative education and interdisciplinary research around data sciences; to foster green and digital transition for sustainability within the Alliance and in European society at large; to achieve Excellence in comprehending, analysing, utilising, managing, and safeguarding data.

UNINOVIS alliance, which unites seven European higher education institutions in France, Lithuania, Germany, Finland, Spain, Italy, Albania (Kauno kolegija Higher Education Institution, Technical University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Sorbonne Paris Nord University, University of Málaga, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, University of Tirana) is part of the European Universities initiative of the European Commission. The coordinator of this alliance is Sorbonne Paris Nord University in France.